Perimeter Shooting Must Improve
On Saturday, Clemson suffered a disappointing loss in the last few seconds at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is in their first season in the ACC and was predicted to finish behind the Tigers in the standings. The Tigers had a chance to win back-to-back road games in conference play for the first time in eight years. Obviously, the Tigers fell short in a game they should have won.
This team will show some flashes of excellence, but will also have some heartbreakers like what happened in Blacksburg on Saturday. Outside shooting will be the key for the remainder of the season. In games where the Tigers are hitting from the perimeter, they will have the opportunity to upset some teams in the ACC. For Sharrod Ford and Akin Akingbala to be effective inside, this team needs to start hitting some shots from the perimeter.
Cliff Hammonds has been the only consistent threat from behind the arc this season. Hammonds at times has struggled to get his shot, and gets lost in the shuffle of the game. Hammonds needs to be more assertive on the offensive end for the Tigers. Shawan Robinson has been consistently inconsistent. His defensive effort has been below par and has not been effective shooting the ball. The Tigers turned to Jimmy Hudson to provide a little spark against Wake Forest, and if Robinson continues to struggle, Hudson may see his minutes increase as the season goes on.
The schedule has not been kind to the Tigers. Five of the first seven conference games are on the road. The Tigers will have to recover quickly from Blacksburg, because #6 North Carolina comes to town Wednesday. The Tigers will look for their third consecutive victory in Littlejohn Coliseum over the Tar Heels. Last season, the Tigers hit 11-12 three pointers in the win over North Carolina. A similiar effort may be needed for a victory Wednesday night.